Sunday, June 16, 2013

High Schoolers are Awesome

Small Group 28

This last week I was in the mountains of North Carolina helping with a conference for high school youth. My main role was to lead a small group - 30 youth meeting twice a day - to unpack the scriptures and life experiences we discussed each day.

I've been a small group leader before, but I had forgotten how sacred this space is for youth. They're surrounded by new faces and are encouraged to share the real pain and joy going on in their lives (school, home, church) without being judged or followed home by it. And these youth take advantage of it.

The second day we dove deep into the brokenness of their lives. I realized once again the roughness of high school and growing up. We shared the depths of our emotions and encouraged one another in the process. One main theme that kept coming up this week was from Mark 4:38 when Jesus is asleep in the boat during a mad storm. We moved from focusing on the fact that Jesus was sleeping and how that made us feel abandoned, anxious, and unloved.... to recognizing that Jesus is in the boat with us and Jesus does calm the storm. Maybe not as quickly as we would like him to, but in time Jesus calms the storms. We affirmed that the waves of the storms in our lives will continue to rise and threaten to overthrow us, but that Jesus continues to climb in our boat. We are never alone.

I'm grateful for my time with these youth and I'm grateful for all they've taught me about what church needs to look like to be relevant and life-filling for youth. Thanks, small group 28 for being vulnerable and real with each other, with God, and with me.

Check out Montreat Youth Conferences here:

1 comment:

  1. What a lucky group of kids they are to have you to share this journey with them! I still have facebook friends from the small group I led at Montreat 4(?) years ago and it's so neat to see glimpses of God working in their lives and the see the paths they choose to walk. Such a priviledge.